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Films ranked 101-1000 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:44 pm
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Post Films ranked 101-1000
Figured someone needed to start this, after all the recent discussion.

Just watched The Wind (1928), ranked 308 on the list.

It was directed by Victor Sjostrom(the lead in Wild Strawberries) & stars Lillian Gish.

Plot is pretty simple: Gish moves to Texas from the east & encounters all kinds of trouble, not the least of which is an insane, non stop wind blowing sand everywhere.

Sjostrom is a pretty talented director, some of the visuals are pretty amazing. You really buy the world he creates, it doesn't feel stagy at all. Its a shame he didn't direct any english language films, I wonder what he could have done.

Gish called it the 'worst experience of her career' due to the sweltering heat during the shoot & the wind machines(actually airplane propellers) blowing sand in her face all day. She gives a great performance though, you can see why she was such a star of that era. She seems to frequently play women who are crapped on by men, and does it great.
Other actors are really good as well(a Swedish actor is the male lead, it doesn't seem like he did much after this)

This is a fine film, one of the high marks of the silent era(but it is hurt by the ending imo, apparently the studio interfered with the original, more logical ending)


Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:51 pm
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Post Re: Films ranked 101-1000
Thanks for starting this, calvero. Hopefully, there's enough interest to keep it going.

For those interested, here's the list of the 1000 greatest movies that we're using:

http://www.theyshootpictures.com/gf1000_all1000films.htm

Feel free to post about any movies outside of the Top 100 you've seen or have questions about.


Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:59 pm
Post Re: Films ranked 101-1000
Alright, let's see if we can inject life into at least one topic here.

Just last night I watched No. 891 on the List, The Virgin Spring. It's the 9th Bergman I've seen, and while I wouldn't put it near the top of the heap I'm glad I finally saw it. Still, out of the 9 I've seen this may be the only Bergman film I wouldn't describe as maddeningly ambitious. Not coincidentally, it's also the first of his I've seen that he didn't write. This creates an interesting situation for a Bergman-devotee-in-training such as myself, in that this also makes this the second of his films I've seen (the other being Hour of the Wolf) that I have thought about very little since I watched. In fact, I dare say that almost all of the deeper meaning I procured from it came from the Criterion essay I read afterword, with little input at all from myself, other than the obvious "Circle of Violence bad! Religion causes as many problems as it fixes! Revenge is a dish best served not at all!" that place themselves right on the surface and refuse to go away. (All of which are perfectly decent little observations, but I found the point that the criterion man made about the transition between paganism and Christianity to be much more interesting, maybe just because I didn't think of it). Of course, no film needs a deeper meaning to be good, but Bergman's almost always plumb some depth or issue deeply and harshly (as deeply and harshly as a movie can, anyway), while The Virgin Spring seemed much more fit to just let the plot happen and leave it to the other films to work out its director's spiritual problems.

Thematic issues aside, The Virgin Spring is actually quite the effective little film, with gorgeous cinematography from Sven Nykvist, stunning performances from the actors and a plot that is as painful as it is fascinating. So pretty much a typical 60s era Bergman film. As I said though, this is different in that it seems more "plotty" than most of his features, which, ignoring the Last House on the Left Connection, may account for its sustained popularity and oscar. It most definitely has more forward momentum than his others, probably thanks to that same lack of philosophizing I mentioned. Certain sequences are also some of the best I've seen from the man; The rape may not be up to Irreversible-like levels of shock, but the fact that it was filmed in 1960 is mindblowing. And people say Bonnie and Clyde changed the game! Just as effective is the scene where the father carries out his revenge. It's an absolutely brutal piece of violence, and no amount of gore could've made it worse. Still, despite its effectiveness I still found that I didn't love this one as much as I have most of his others. As you may have guessed I actually really like all the obvious spiritual stuff, and aside from fantastic work from Gunnel Lindbloom and Max Von Sydow (who still has some of the greatest range in the game; the fact that the same man who played the quivering mass of doubt in Winter Light plays the hugely imposing father figure here astounds me) none of the acting can quite equal the highs seen in Bergman's best. Still, it's definitely worth seeing and a text-book lesson in how to make an effective and disturbing chamber melodrama. 8/10.

You know, this post was supposed to just be one paragraph. I really need to stop letting these posts get out of control...

...But before I go I might as well also mention that I recently also saw Rocky (No. 509) too. It was just about what I expected: A fairly effective little drama with some iconic images and some inspiring scenes. And a montage. A really good montage at that.

Actually, all that I can really recall about Rocky other than a vague sense of pleasure is how fake the inspiration seemed. I mean, think about it (I'd put this in spoilers, but come on folks, it's Rocky): Rocky's chance at the title has nothing to do with being a great fighter, but really all revolves around good marketing. He's only picked because his fighter name, The Italian Stallion, would sell well to the American Public. Sure, Rocky may go the distance with Creed, but he never would've been there in the first place if he hadn't had the marketability and the sheer luck. That means they're essentially saying that what's important is, in this order:
1. Luck,
2. Being profitable
and optional: 3. Talent
Upholding the American dream my ass.

Anyway, if you ignore that it's actually a really nice way to spend 2 hours. Nothing fantastic, but it's all handled well and is genuinely uplifting. Easy to see why it won that Oscar. 7/10.

Dammit, even that ended up being longer than I wanted it to be. I need an editor.


Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:31 am
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:44 pm
Posts: 1478
Post Re: Films ranked 101-1000
I rewatched The Virgin Spring earlier this year & was surprised how much I liked it.
Maybe because it was more 'plotty' than his other films(I'm a 'plotty' kind of guy)


Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:37 pm
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Post Re: Films ranked 101-1000
A quick thank you to calvero for getting us started.

Alright, I saw two of the top 1000 this week...

First was No. 207 Freaks (1932). The film is directed by Tod Browning who is probably most well known to the average film fan for directing Bela Lugosi in Dracula. Silent film fans may know him as Lon Chaney's longtime collaborator though. I can't comment on the quality of these films since I haven't seen any, but I can tell you that they have a following (perhaps someone else can shed more light on this). For Freaks, Browning actually used real circus performers. What you see is no make-up folks. Those microcephalics are actual microcephalics. This obviously gives the film a touch of realism that others lack. Unfortunately, it also hurts the acting. The little people's performance, for instance, feels incredibly forced. Overall, it's still a very good film though and one of the better entries in the horror genre. The wedding scene featuring the "One of Us" line alone more than earns this film its classic status. 8/10

Next was No. 111 The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Supposedly, Paul Thomas Anderson looked at this one every night while writing There Will Be Blood. It shows. This is a fantastic picture that isn't about the treasure (gold), but what it does to people. It may look and sound like a Western, but I'm reluctant to call it one. This is mostly a character driven drama. Humphrey Bogart was a real revelation for me here. I've always liked the actor, but I thought he basically played the same character all his life. Not here. I wonder if any A list studio star from that period ever got so dirty for a role. Walter Huston, the director's father deservedly won an Oscar for playing a supporting character. The man steals every scene he is in. This one is highly recommended, especially if you liked the aforementioned There Will Be Blood. 9/10.


Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:47 pm
Post Re: Films ranked 101-1000
Way back when we had an actual thread on The Virgin Spring. It's short and worth a read:
http://reelviews.net/reelviewsforum/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=623&p=15525

I gave it a 9/10. Zep's discussion of the film's themes or lack of was quite interesting, but he neglected to mention that Max Von Sydow kicks the crap out of a tree. Seriously, the man wrestles a tree to the ground (I posted a nice still of this in the thread I linked to)! That alone is worth an extra star.

Also, I'm beginning to suspect Zeppelin and majoraphasia are the same person.

For proof see the first three hits here:
http://reelviews.net/reelviewsforum/search.php?keywords=editor&terms=all&author=&sc=1&sf=all&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search

and the strange love for this movie:
http://reelviews.net/reelviewsforum/search.php?keywords=marvin+gardens&terms=all&author=&sc=1&sf=all&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search

:D


Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:00 pm
Post Re: Films ranked 101-1000
ed_metal_head wrote:
Next was No. 111 The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Supposedly, Paul Thomas Anderson looked at this one every night while writing There Will Be Blood. It shows. This is a fantastic picture that isn't about the treasure (gold), but what it does to people. It may look and sound like a Western, but I'm reluctant to call it one. This is mostly a character driven drama. Humphrey Bogart was a real revelation for me here. I've always liked the actor, but I thought he basically played the same character all his life. Not here. I wonder if any A list studio star from that period ever got so dirty for a role. Walter Huston, the director's father deservedly won an Oscar for playing a supporting character. The man steals every scene he is in. This one is highly recommended, especially if you liked the aforementioned There Will Be Blood. 9/10.


What a fantastic movie. By fantastic I literally mean FANTASTIC!!!! I own it, I watch it 2-3 times a year, and it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside everytime. I believe I put this in my Top 10 of all time on this very forum (although my Top 10 is admittedly 10 movies I love that come to my head at that moment).

I think it functions similarly to Huston's The Maltese Falcon (another favorite of mine), in that the meaning doesn't come from what the characters are after (the falcon/the gold), but from the characters interactions with one another. I agree that it seems like it should be a Western, but doesn't quite fit within the genre. It's an almost Western. Huston deservedly won Best Director for the film, and I'm astonished that Bogart didn't win for Best Actor (and downright appalled that he wasn't even nominated). I've seen a bunch of his films, and this is his most daring, ballsy, and best performance of his that I've seen.

There Will Be Blood can't hold a candle to this. I highly second Ed's high recommendation.


Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:39 pm
Director

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:44 pm
Posts: 1478
Post Re: Films ranked 101-1000
I find it rather odd that some people consider Sierra Madre a Western(it takes place in the 1920s. In Mexico.)

In fact, pre imdb, I doubt there was even a debate on it. I have many film books from the 70s/80s, its always listed as 'adventure.'

I can see someone calling it a film noir before calling it a western.


Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:33 pm
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Post Re: Films ranked 101-1000
PeachyPete wrote:
What a fantastic movie. By fantastic I literally mean FANTASTIC!!!! I own it, I watch it 2-3 times a year, and it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside everytime. I believe I put this in my Top 10 of all time on this very forum (although my Top 10 is admittedly 10 movies I love that come to my head at that moment).

I think it functions similarly to Huston's The Maltese Falcon (another favorite of mine), in that the meaning doesn't come from what the characters are after (the falcon/the gold), but from the characters interactions with one another. I agree that it seems like it should be a Western, but doesn't quite fit within the genre. It's an almost Western. Huston deservedly won Best Director for the film, and I'm astonished that Bogart didn't win for Best Actor (and downright appalled that he wasn't even nominated). I've seen a bunch of his films, and this is his most daring, ballsy, and best performance of his that I've seen.

There Will Be Blood can't hold a candle to this. I highly second Ed's high recommendation.


Aye. I feel like it's the sort of film that continues to grow on you after you've watched it. This one stands a chance to get bumped up to a perfect rating when I see it again.

The Maltese Falcon is something I definitely need to rewatch. I first saw it when I was just getting into older movies, and while I liked it, I didn't love it.

Huston seems like a really interesting director, but unfortunately I've seen only 3 of his films. The third being Night of the Iguana. That one starts fantastic but dropped off quite a bit for me towards the end.

calvero wrote:
I can see someone calling it a film noir before calling it a western.


I don't know about that. Thematically...perhaps. But most of the archetypes of the "genre", most notably the femme fatale are missing.


Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:03 am
Post Re: Films ranked 101-1000
ed_metal_head wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
Aye. I feel like it's the sort of film that continues to grow on you after you've watched it. This one stands a chance to get bumped up to a perfect rating when I see it again.

The Maltese Falcon is something I definitely need to rewatch. I first saw it when I was just getting into older movies, and while I liked it, I didn't love it.

Huston seems like a really interesting director, but unfortunately I've seen only 3 of his films. The third being Night of the Iguana. That one starts fantastic but dropped off quite a bit for me towards the end.


Huston is pretty awesome. I'd also recommend checking out The Asphalt Jungle (yet another personal favorite of mine) and Key Largo by him. In fact, a double feature of The Maltese Falcon and The Asphalt Jungle was pretty eye opening in terms of noir themes Huston explores. In a way, he starts to comment and twist the standards he established with The Maltese Falcon in The Apshalt Jungle.

To me, Huston knows noir better than anyone. That's probably why Polanski used him in Chinatown.


Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:49 am
Post Re: Films ranked 101-1000
PeachyPete wrote:
Huston is pretty awesome. I'd also recommend checking out The Asphalt Jungle (yet another personal favorite of mine) and Key Largo by him. In fact, a double feature of The Maltese Falcon and The Asphalt Jungle was pretty eye opening in terms of noir themes Huston explores. In a way, he starts to comment and twist the standards he established with The Maltese Falcon in The Apshalt Jungle.

To me, Huston knows noir better than anyone. That's probably why Polanski used him in Chinatown.


I actually saw the first hour of The Asphalt Jungle, but I fell asleep! Not the film's fault though, it started at midnight on TCM and I was tired. As a matter of fact, I was really into it. Missing out on the rest of the film spurned me on to....repair my VCR. Seriously. Since then I record everything on VHS and see it when I have the time. I should probably get a PVR, but I feel bad about parting with the thing. That VCR is at least 16 years old. At least.


Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:16 pm
Post Re: Films ranked 101-1000
What do you do during a long weekend in which 2 feet of snowfall has turned you into something of a hermit? Well, when not shoveling snow, you watch movies. Over the last 3 days I've watched my fair share, and 2 came from our list. First:

No. 496 - Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid

Here's what ed said about the film:

ed_metal_head wrote:
The Wild Bunch aside, I'm not a great fan of Peckinpah, as you may or may not remember. I've found redeeming qualities in each of his films, but they rarely strike me as great.

Same thing for Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid. The narrative thread connecting various scenes is pretty loose and while I like Dylan's songs they didn't seem to fit the film. At least not for me. Dylan's character is kind of weird too. Mind you, I like weird, but he felt out of place. That said, you may very well enjoy it. The "longing" feeling you describe is particularly strong in this one. Also, I've seen most of Peckinpah's output on TCM rather than DVD. Not normally a problem, but the TCM over here doesn't show movies in widescreen, so Pan & Scan may have influenced my ratings.


I was really looking forward to this movie, but came away very disappointed. Ed called the narrative thread pretty loose, and I'll say it's almost nonexistent. Pat Garrett hunts down Billy The Kid and that's about it, storywise. So, what's the point of the film if the narrative is so uninteresting? Peckinpah seems incredibly concerned with the mythology of the Old West and longing for a time that has passed. That makes for a few interesting scenes, but as a whole, there isn't much to hold on to. At the same time, since that's all there really is in the movie, by the end I was more than ready for the credits to roll since I felt that message had been permanently ingrained in my brain. Peckinpah cast the film with famous Western character actors to add to this theme, but they are introduced and either killed off or never seen again within 5 minutes. There's very little development between the supporting characters, so all the stunt casting didn't work very well for me.

What did I like about the film? There are quite a few wonderful shots, and James Coburn is very good as Pat Garrett. There's also a mirror motif throughout the film that allows for a few shots of the landscape reflected in bodies of water that is very....pretty? Yeah, I think pretty would be an apt description. It's used to contrast Pat and Billy, but even that relationship isn't very well developed and the characters become more symbols of the Old West vs. the changing West that they do actual people. Overall though, the film took an interesting idea and executed it poorly. There's just no reason to care about anything that's happening. It's an interesting film, but I don't know that I'd recommend it to anyone as a casual viewing. 2.5/4

The next film I saw was no. 872, The Royal Tenenbaums.

I don't consider myself a Wes Anderson fan...at all. I've never understood all the fuss that accompanied the guy. I didn't like Rushmore or The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, although I found Bottle Rocket to be pretty good. I'd heard The Royal Tenenbaums was his best film, but had been put off by all the others. My girlfriend finally convinced me to watch it, and I think it perfectly fits Anderson's style. Usually his quirky, offbeat manner is offputting to me, but it was endearing in Tenenbaums. First of all the writing is phenomenal. He takes a page out of J.D. Salinger in almost every one of his films, but it works wonderfully here. He takes these larger than life, outlandish characters and turns them into actual people with legitimate motivations for being so "out there". When everyone is exaggerated, those exaggerations become the norm and it doesn't feel as forced as in his other films. I also think it's the best performance I've seen from Luke Wilson.

There's so much going on in the movie that sometimes it bordered on sensory overload, but I loved that as well. It's so well shot, written, and acted that it's impossible not to be riveted by every scene. There's humor, drama, and genuine human emotion all packed tightly into one glorious film.

I found it hilarious and clever that Owen Wilson's character, who is gay (or at least wants to be Richie), was introduced while literally hiding in the closet. Funny stuff.

I'd give the film 3.5/4 and I'll be adding my first Wes Anderson film to my personal collection fairly soon after Christmas.


Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:44 am
Post Re: Films ranked 101-1000
Managed to squeeze two of them into the schedule:

I have a loose goal of rewatching all the classic Disney cartoons to see how well they hold up. To that end I had watched Snow White a month or so ago. It was alright, but much worse than I remembered. In fact, it was so discouraging that I all but abandoned my plans. Nevertheless, I decided to give #346 Pinocchio a chance. Pinocchio left me with the opposite experience. It's so much better than I remembered. The story is more sophisticated than Snow White and overall, very dark for a Disney film (kidnapping, children smoking etc). The animation is still gorgeous and holds up incredibly well also. I still have quite a few to see, but I'm thinking Pinocchio is the best of all the classic Disney films. 8/10.

Until yesterday I had seen three Pedro Almodovar films and loved them all (Talk to Her, Bad Education and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown). All About My Mother (#635) is oft considered his masterpiece, so to say that I was excited about seeing it would be an understatement. Expectations are a hell of a thing. All About My Mother is another very good Almodovar film, but like All About Eve and A Streetcar Named Desire (both are directly referenced) I think it marginally falls short of greatness. I'm aware that I'm in the minority on All About Eve and A Streetcar, so I grant that the majority may enjoy Almodovar's film more than I did. I will say that Cecilia Roth is fantastic as the lead. This is the best female performance I've seen in an Almodovar film, which is high praise when you think of his women. I'd say this and Bad Education are about on par and are his third and fourth best films, though the order is flexible (Talk to Her remains my favourite). 8/10.


Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:43 pm
Post Re: Films ranked 101-1000
ed_metal_head wrote:
I have a loose goal of rewatching all the classic Disney cartoons to see how well they hold up. To that end I had watched Snow White a month or so ago. It was alright, but much worse than I remembered. In fact, it was so discouraging that I all but abandoned my plans. Nevertheless, I decided to give #346 Pinocchio a chance. Pinocchio left me with the opposite experience. It's so much better than I remembered. The story is more sophisticated than Snow White and overall, very dark for a Disney film (kidnapping, children smoking etc). The animation is still gorgeous and holds up incredibly well also. I still have quite a few to see, but I'm thinking Pinocchio is the best of all the classic Disney films. 8/10.


Have you seen Dumbo? That's my favorite from Disney's first classic era (and second, and all other future eras). I think I watched that movie every day from the time I was 4 until I was 7 or 8. It still holds up well, too.


Over the holiday I took in 2 films on the list. The first being No. 436, Tootsie. Any review or brief thoughts on the film should be prefaced with this statement: Tootsie was made in 1982 and has all the staples of the 1980s within. Embrace these cheesy elements and try not to hold it against the film.

Taking that statement into consideration, I very much enjoyed the film. It's legitimately funny, well-acted, and has a nice message. There isn't anything profound here (or all that original), but it's very entertaining and it effectively conveys it's message. I was reminded of a more heavy-handed, less screwball Some Like it Hot. It pales a bit in comparison, but the films are at least somewhat similar. Tootsie is a piece of social commentary that goes down pretty smoothly. 3/4

The next film on the list I watched was No. 583, East of Eden. This is the film adaptation of John Steinbeck's famous novel. The film deals with about the last third to half of the novel, but remains true to it's spirit. Steinbeck wrote depressingly hopeful stories about the strength and goodness of men, and Elia Kazan's film transfer makes that the clear theme of the film. The decision to forgo much of the book's plot actually strengthens the film. Kazan is able to stay true to the book's spirit even with a much shorter narrative. The story is basically a retelling of Cain and Abel updated to modern (the 1950s) times with a bit of a thematic twist.

James Dean (in his first major role) absolutely nails the role of Cal. I've yet to see Giant, but I have seen Rebel Without a Cause, and I can say I prefer this performance, and film, to his other work. A lot of times we tend to over value those who have met a tragic end, but, in Dean, you can easily see a young man who had the potential to become a screen legend. It's just an overall sad story.

The film is plot driven, but Kazan subtlely adds to the film with his direction. There's a good deal of symbolism within the mis-en-scene (which is also quite good), while still allowing for the necessary character development. Character motivations are all made clear (as a whole the performances are excellent), the subtext is accessible, and the story itself it riveting. It's very much like watching a novel, which makes sense given the subject material. I highly recommend this film to anyone who knows James Dean only as "the dead guy from Rebel Without a Cause", and to anyone else who may or may not have a clue about James Dean. In short, it's a great movie. 4/4


Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:29 pm
Post Re: Films ranked 101-1000
Preston Sturges has to be the most underrated classic director. His Lady Eve was fantastic and Sullivan's Travels (#171), the last film I've seen, might even be better. Sturges' dialogue needs to be heard. The best comparison I can think of is Billy Wilder. Sullivan's Travels is not only very funny, but also deep. The film is a satire about a popular director who grows fed up of making lightweight films and decided to make something socially relevant. However, he feels that the only way to do so is to first live a life of hardship as a tramp. Doing so, is apparently harder than it seems.

Apart from the hilarious script, the scene that most stayed in my mind occurs in a church towards the end. The way the prisoners shuffle into the church in tune with the song has a certain hypnotic quality that I wasn't quite prepared for. That scene, and a few others, convinced me that Sturges is not only a fine writer, but a great director too.

All in all, this is one of the great movies about Hollywood and the movie industry and should not be missed. 9/10.

P.S. Coen Bros fans take note: the socially relevant film the director wants to make is called O Brother, Where Art Thou.

PeachyPete wrote:
ed_metal_head wrote:
I have a loose goal of rewatching all the classic Disney cartoons to see how well they hold up. To that end I had watched Snow White a month or so ago. It was alright, but much worse than I remembered. In fact, it was so discouraging that I all but abandoned my plans. Nevertheless, I decided to give #346 Pinocchio a chance. Pinocchio left me with the opposite experience. It's so much better than I remembered. The story is more sophisticated than Snow White and overall, very dark for a Disney film (kidnapping, children smoking etc). The animation is still gorgeous and holds up incredibly well also. I still have quite a few to see, but I'm thinking Pinocchio is the best of all the classic Disney films. 8/10.


Have you seen Dumbo? That's my favorite from Disney's first classic era (and second, and all other future eras). I think I watched that movie every day from the time I was 4 until I was 7 or 8. It still holds up well, too.


Over the holiday I took in 2 films on the list. The first being No. 436, Tootsie. Any review or brief thoughts on the film should be prefaced with this statement: Tootsie was made in 1982 and has all the staples of the 1980s within. Embrace these cheesy elements and try not to hold it against the film.

Taking that statement into consideration, I very much enjoyed the film. It's legitimately funny, well-acted, and has a nice message. There isn't anything profound here (or all that original), but it's very entertaining and it effectively conveys it's message. I was reminded of a more heavy-handed, less screwball Some Like it Hot. It pales a bit in comparison, but the films are at least somewhat similar. Tootsie is a piece of social commentary that goes down pretty smoothly. 3/4

The next film on the list I watched was No. 583, East of Eden. This is the film adaptation of John Steinbeck's famous novel. The film deals with about the last third to half of the novel, but remains true to it's spirit. Steinbeck wrote depressingly hopeful stories about the strength and goodness of men, and Elia Kazan's film transfer makes that the clear theme of the film. The decision to forgo much of the book's plot actually strengthens the film. Kazan is able to stay true to the book's spirit even with a much shorter narrative. The story is basically a retelling of Cain and Abel updated to modern (the 1950s) times with a bit of a thematic twist.

James Dean (in his first major role) absolutely nails the role of Cal. I've yet to see Giant, but I have seen Rebel Without a Cause, and I can say I prefer this performance, and film, to his other work. A lot of times we tend to over value those who have met a tragic end, but, in Dean, you can easily see a young man who had the potential to become a screen legend. It's just an overall sad story.

The film is plot driven, but Kazan subtlely adds to the film with his direction. There's a good deal of symbolism within the mis-en-scene (which is also quite good), while still allowing for the necessary character development. Character motivations are all made clear (as a whole the performances are excellent), the subtext is accessible, and the story itself it riveting. It's very much like watching a novel, which makes sense given the subject material. I highly recommend this film to anyone who knows James Dean only as "the dead guy from Rebel Without a Cause", and to anyone else who may or may not have a clue about James Dean. In short, it's a great movie. 4/4


I had Dumbo and most other Disney movies on home video. That was a long time ago though. I can barely recall anything at all about them. Thanks for the tip though, I'll look out for it.

I've also seen Tootsie and East of Eden. My feelings on Tootsie are more or less the same. Good film, but it isn't that deep. I certainly don't understand its classic status. James' 3.5 star review left me somewhat puzzled, but then he does seem to have a thing for the 80s. East of Eden is undoubtedly the better film of the two, but I wouldn't rate it quite as highly. I do think it's slightly superior to Rebel Without A Cause, both in terms of picture quality and for James Dean's performance. Dean may be a Brando imitator, but he's a good one.


Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:14 pm
Post Re: Films ranked 101-1000
ed_metal_head wrote:
Preston Sturges has to be the most underrated classic director. His Lady Eve was fantastic and Sullivan's Travels (#171), the last film I've seen, might even be better. Sturges' dialogue needs to be heard. The best comparison I can think of is Billy Wilder. Sullivan's Travels is not only very funny, but also deep. The film is a satire about a popular director who grows fed up of making lightweight films and decided to make something socially relevant. However, he feels that the only way to do so is to first live a life of hardship as a tramp. Doing so, is apparently harder than it seems.

Apart from the hilarious script, the scene that most stayed in my mind occurs in a church towards the end. The way the prisoners shuffle into the church in tune with the song has a certain hypnotic quality that I wasn't quite prepared for. That scene, and a few others, convinced me that Sturges is not only a fine writer, but a great director too.

All in all, this is one of the great movies about Hollywood and the movie industry and should not be missed. 9/10.

P.S. Coen Bros fans take note: the socially relevant film the director wants to make is called O Brother, Where Art Thou.


I love Sullivan's Travels.

It was the first great self-reflexive film. Aside from Singin' in the Rain and Sunset Blvd, that's an ingredient that was missing from Hollywood until the 90's and The Player.


Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:09 pm
Director

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:44 pm
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Post Re: Films ranked 101-1000
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Preston Sturges has to be the most underrated classic director. His Lady Eve was fantastic and Sullivan's Travels (#171), the last film I've seen, might even be better. Sturges' dialogue needs to be heard. The best comparison I can think of is Billy Wilder.


Sturges is one of my favorite directors, I've seen virtually all of his films(& some of his films as writer only) There were all at least 3 out of 4 star films. I have trouble deciding on which is my favorite. You need to see these(if you haven't already)

Unfaithfully Yours
Hail the Conquering Hero
Miracle of Morgan's Creek
The Great McGinty

Amazing how brief & bright his career was. I'm sure a good biopic could be made about him.


Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:41 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:35 am
Posts: 2086
Post Re: Films ranked 101-1000
Don't forget The Palm Beach Story. It's delightful.

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Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:26 pm
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Post Re: Films ranked 101-1000
No. 198 - Frank Capra's It Happened One Night

Loved it. Pure escapist fun. Made in 1934, the film was the first to sweep the main 5 Oscar categories (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay (adapted in this case)). I can't even begin to imagine a screwball romantic comedy being up for that many Oscars these days, let alone winning them.

The film deals a bit with class, snobbery, and moral values/principles, but doesn't try to go too deep. The tone is kept very light, and the comedic timing between the leads (Clark Gable and Claudetter Colbert) is terrific. It's essentially a road picture, and Gable and Colbert do ALL of the heavy lifting. They dominate the screen time, and their chemistry is apparent. I thought Gable, in particular, was fantastic. He turns in one of my favorite comedic performances here. This is one of the treasures of the 1930s. Sure, it's standard and formulaic by now, but that doesn't take away the pleasure of watching Gable and Colbert go back and forth. For things to become formulaic, they have to be influenced by (or just plain copying) something. This film is where the romantic comedy formula comes from. Watching it, I could really see where and how this film had influenced the many like it that followed.

3.5 (maybe 4)/4


Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:19 pm
Director

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:44 pm
Posts: 1478
Post Re: Films ranked 101-1000
Not a fan of It Happened One Night. But I'm a big fan of screwball comedies. All the Preston Sturges films I listed are much funnier. As is Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, Midnight, My Man Godfrey, Twentieth Century(which came out the same year as It Happened One Night)

I guess I really don't feel its as funny or fast paced as a true screwball comedy should be.


Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:55 pm
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